The State of Tasman’s Estuaries

In general, the state of mud/sand tidal flats in the majority of Tasman’s estuaries is good to moderate. The condition of the remaining saltmarsh habitat is good, although a very large proportion of this habitat has been lost over the last 100 years to create farmland, roads or industrial areas. The concentration of disease-causing organisms in estuarine shellfish where there is intensive urban or pastoral land use is high and within the water the concentration is moderate or high during and after rain. Concentrations of nutrients and toxic chemicals are low. 

An overall analysis of the condition, or state, of estuaries in the district was undertaken in 2009 and is available via the link below. This report also included analysis of data collected by the Department of Conservation on the Wanganui inlet.

State of Tasman Estuaries Report 2010


Waimea Inlet

The Waimea Inlet is a moderate-sized (3455ha) enclosed estuary between Nelson and Mapua at the mouth of the Waimea River.

Moutere Inlet

The Moutere Inlet is a moderate-sized (755ha) shallow tidal lagoon immediately to the east of Motueka.

Motueka Delta

The Motueka River Delta is a short, narrow and shallow tidal river mouth estuary that discharges onto a broad delta (750ha).

Motupipi Inlet

The Motupipi is a small to medium-sized (160ha), shallow tidal lagoon.

Ruataniwha Inlet

Ruataniwha Inlet is a moderate-sized (863ha) shallow tidal lagoon estuary that has a broad entrance mouth at the mouth of the Aorere River.

Whanganui Inlet

Wanganui Inlet is a large (2744ha) tidal lagoon estuary with a relatively narrow entrance mouth.